Entries in Mid-Term Elections (10)


Will Majority of Americans Not Vote in 2010 Midterm Elections? 

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Texas native Darrell Worthy has loyally cast ballots for Democrats in every election since he reached the legal voting age in 2000. But the self-described "progressive voter" said he's not going to vote Tuesday.

"It's a protest toward the inefficacy of what Democrats have done with their power," the 28-year-old college psychology professor told ABC News. "They've controlled both houses [of Congress] and the presidency, and I thought they could have done a lot more."

Never mind health care reform, financial regulatory reform, or an economic recovery package many economists say eased the recession. Worthy and voters like him, who were swept up by Democrats' message of "change" in 2008, have apparently been frustrated by Washington's slow progress and are now among the ranks of voters choosing to stay home.

"Non-voters are far more Democratic in their political leaning, more likely to favor activist government, including the health care legislation, and more likely to approve of Obama's performance in office," said Scott Keeter of the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, which compiled a comparison of attitudes between 2010 voters and non-voters for ABC News.

Fifty-four percent of non-voters this year identify themselves as Democrats, compared to just 30 percent who align with Republicans, the Pew survey found. Non-voters are also overwhelmingly more likely to profess ignorance of the Tea Party than their likely voter peers.

While the voter engagement gap has traditionally been a challenge for Democrats in midterm elections, it is particularly significant this year with Tea Party-led enthusiasm expected to drive turnout for GOP candidates.

"Voter turnout will literally decide the outcome of about 50 make-or-break races," Democratic strategist Paul Begala warned supporters Wednesday in an e-mail message sent on behalf of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

Analysts say that despite the efforts of both parties to rally their bases, a majority of voters will still likely choose not to cast a vote Tuesday -- a pattern in midterm elections over the past 30 years.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


DNC, RNC Spokesmen Set Expectations for Election Day

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Other than, of course, the voting, it's all about the expectations-setting now -- with both major political parties' fates judged not just based on numbers of votes, but how they fare against the collective conventional wisdom.

ABC News invited the communications directors for the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee to make their final pitches.

The DNC's Brad Woodhouse said the night won't be as bad as Republicans might have voters believe.

"I think it is great -- just go ahead and set those expectations," Woodhouse told us. "But I will tell you: we feel really good about what we are seeing in the early vote. If there was going to be a tsunami, it would be in the early vote. We are winning with sporadic and new voters and we are running even or ahead in the other states with actual votes...I think we can surprise some people."

The RNC’s Doug Heye joked that the empty studio he was in made him "feel like I am at the Obama rally."

"The voters certainly want to make adjustments and corrections and whatever number people want to pick out and speculate...we are optimistic," Heye said. "We are seeing, in our early voting in Florida, where we are clobbering the DNC who clobbered us in 2008 in early voting. We think we are in a good position, and to use a sports term: We have got the ball, it is the end of the game, we want to score the basket."

Woodhouse said Democrats should have been less shy about touting their accomplishments on items like health care.

"That has been our perspective the whole time. If you take tough votes, if you think that the votes are right, then you should be proud of what you voted for," he said. "I am not sure what we could have done to change the dynamic of the election. One thing we do have though is a ground game that is turning people out, and I think we are going to surprise people tomorrow."

We also asked them both if they'd like their opposing party chairman -- the DNC's Tim Kaine and the RNC's Michael Steele -- to serve additional terms.

Said Heye: "If that is what the chairman of the Democrats wants, that is fine. We don't care who their chairman is, we care about who the candidate is."

Said Woodhouse: "I would like to see nothing more than to see Michael Steele reelected as the chair of the Republican National Committee."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


NRCC Chairman: 'Easily 95 to 100' House Seats in Play

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Republican leaders say they are continuing to see the map of competitive races expand in the final days of the race, with even longtime incumbents like Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-Minn., among Democrats who are facing unexpectedly tough challenges.

On ABC’s Top Line Thursday, the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep.  Pete Sessions, said his party’s candidates are already “well ahead” in the “low 40s” of seats -- more than enough to take over the majority.

He said another 60 or so seats will be toss-ups right through Election Day.

“Within the margin of error, I would say there are easily 95 to 100 seats,” Sessions, R-Texas, told us live from Dallas Thursday.  “The competitive seats that are in there where Republicans are ahead are already in the low 40s -- where we think Republicans are well ahead and based upon the turnout and what happens on the day of the election we will go ahead and win.

“Those other 60 seats will be within the margin of error all the way up until Election Day, and turnout will decide that.  I think Republicans can win back the majority, but it's going to take the American people wanting to change what is happening in Washington.  And I think we can do that.”

Sessions also responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s contention, in an interview with Charlie Rose Wednesday night, that “I would rather be in our position right now than theirs.”

"If she's proud of her hand, I would sooner be us," Sessions responded Thursday.  “[The] Republican Party recognizes we've got to read the bills, we've got to balance the budget, and we've got to bring back the 3 million jobs that have been lost.  So I think that’s the hand Republicans are going to play with.  I think the American people see what it is to have some balance as we approach the president and bring back jobs.”

Republicans will be focused on trying “to slow things down” in Washington -- as voters say they want, Sessions said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


President Obama, Dems Make Case for Gov. Deval Patrick

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(BOSTON) -- President Obama traveled to Massachusetts on Saturday to boost an old friend’s reelection bid.

“The reason I came today isn’t just because Deval has been there for me as a friend, it’s because he continues to inspire me as a leader,” President Obama said about Massachusetts Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick.

The nation’s only black governor, Patrick was an early and aggressive supporter of President Obama’s White House run. Then a U.S. senator, Obama campaigned for Patrick during his first run for governor in 2006.

The president’s swing through Boston came the day after a stop for Democratic Senate candidate Chris Coons in Delaware and one day before a trip to Ohio for Gov. Ted Strickland and other Democratic candidates. In a campaign first this election, First Lady Michelle Obama will join the president in Ohio.  She and the president have been out on the stump this past week trying to motivate Democrats not to sit out this election. 

The president was interrupted on at least two occasions by protestors calling for more AIDS funding.

Patrick is in a close battle with Republican candidate Charles Baker.  Timothy Cahill is running as an independent.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Sparks Fly Between Conservative Candidates in Colorado

Photo Courtesy - Buck for Colorado(DENVER) –- Two years after Barack Obama won Colorado in the 2008 election, leaving many to declare it a new blue state, Democrats are struggling to hold on to their seats as they face the same public ire that Republicans did two years ago.

Incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet, who replaced Ken Salazar last year, is in an uphill battle against Republican candidate and Tea Party favorite Ken Buck.

In a debate moderated by ABC News' Jake Tapper and KMGH anchor Mike Landess, Bennet struggled to distance himself from the Obama administration, painting himself as a moderate as Buck accused him of running away from his record.

"I have been more likely to vote with the other party than any other member of the congressional delegation, whether they're Democratic or whether they're Republican," said Bennet. "And on some critical issues for Colorado, I fought the administration."

Buck, on the other hand, fought back against the argument that he's reversed his position, including on health care.

"I haven’t reversed positions, but I have talked about issues in different ways," Buck said. "Sometimes it's a matter of learning more about issues. Sometimes it's a matter of using different language to try to explain the same situation."

Bennett and Buck are locked in a tight race that will come down to who can win over more independent voters who comprise a large chunk of the state's electorate.

Democrats are having a hard time edging up in polls not only in the Senate race but also in several House races. But where they do see a ray of hope is in the gubernatorial race, where Denver Mayor Hickenlooper leads by double digits.

In a race fraught with fighting among conservatives, pollsters say Hickenlooper is looking at an easy victory to replace exiting Gov. Bill Ritter, who decided not to seek reelection.

At Friday's fiery debate between Democrat John Hickenlooper, Republican Dan Maes and the American Constitution Party's Tom Tancredo, fireworks sparked between Maes and Tancredo as the Republican candidate accused the former member of Congress of sneaking onto the ballot "like an illegal immigrant."

Businessman Maes rode to victory on the back of the Tea Party's support, narrowly defeating another GOP establishment favorite, former Rep. Scott McInnis.

Tancredo quit the GOP and declared himself a candidate of the American Constitution Party despite calls from Maes and other Republicans who feared it would split the vote. The former congressman's move did divide the Republican Party, essentially paving an easy path for Hickenlooper.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


President Obama to Meet with Democratic Congressional Leaders

Photo Courtesy - Speaker(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and other congressional Democratic leaders will visit the White House Thursday to meet with President Obama before Congress breaks for recess, a White House official told ABC News. It is the last visit top House and Senate Democrats will make before the mid-term elections that could significantly change the leaders’ status. Reid is vulnerable in his re-election efforts and Republicans are likely to re-capture the House, thus leading to a Pelosi demotion, if not resignation. Should Democrats lose control of the House they could seek a new leader.

A new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has Pelosi with a 50% unfavorability rating, worse than any other politician or political group polled. The poll also proposed a number of political scenarios for the post-mid-term landscape and asked which ones respondents found acceptable and unacceptable; 51% of those polled found unacceptable the prospect of Pelosi remaining Speaker.

Nevada polls indicated that Reid is locked in a dead heat with Republican challenger Sharron Angle.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Rep. Van Hollen: 'Energy Gap is Closing'; Dems Will Hold House

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The man charged with leading Democratic campaign efforts in the House of Representatives said Monday that the Democratic base is stirring to action in advance of the midterm elections, arguing that Democrats “will retain the majority in the House” because voters won’t choose to pursue Republican policies.  “The momentum is picking up, the energy gap is closing, and the Democrats will retain the majority in the House because the American people do not want to go to the failed policies of the past,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told ABC News.”  Asked to predict how many seats Democrats would lose, he responded: “I'm not making any predictions. I know people who’ve been in the predictions business in the past and they’re often wrong -- including Karl Rove, who predicted a permanent Republican majority. Remember that one?”  Concerning Democrats choosing to distance themselves from President Obama, Van Hollen, D-Md., emphasized the ideological diversity of the Democratic caucus as opposed to the "ideological purity test" he says Republicans have.  As previously reported, Democratic party members admitted to being a party divided after a caucus meeting last Thursday which included discussion about whether or not to hold a vote on the expiring Bush-era tax cuts.  Van Hollen defended Democrats’ decision not to hold a vote on the expiring Bush-era tax cuts, saying the delay is the fault of Republicans who’ve made clear they would filibuster any bill that doesn’t extend all of the tax cuts.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Obama To Target GOP "Pledge To America" On Upcoming Trip

Image Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- With just five weeks until the midterm elections, President Obama will target the House Republican “Pledge To America” during three backyard conversations on his upcoming trip. In addition to discussing the economy at each stop, the president will tackle education, taxes, deficits, and the middle class during stops in New Mexico, Iowa and Virginia. Each stop will have a different, specific focus.

The president will “talk about some of the things we’ve done in these areas and why he thinks the direction the Republicans are pushing to go would be irresponsible, would be a mistake,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told reporters on a conference call Monday.

Despite highlighting key differences between the Democrats and Republicans, Pfeiffer was adamant that the president is not campaigning. “These three backyard visits are not campaign visits,” he said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Bill Clinton Hits Campaign Trail for Democrats

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Former president Bill Clinton says Democrats are not yet putting up a good fight. He was on the campaign trail this weekend, playing defense deep in home territory, where, in a typical election year, Democrats would be leading comfortably: the solid-blue states of Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Clinton is campaigning for longtime politicians, including Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a Senate hopeful, and 30-year Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, who crushed his last opponent. In three earlier races, the Republicans ran no one against Frank. Now, the president's point-man on the banking bailout is also on the endangered list.

Also on the campaign trail Tuesday will be campaigner-in-chief President Obama in Wisconsin and Vice President Joe Biden at Penn State. Next month, Democrats bring out the most popular resident of the White House: first lady Michelle Obama.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


Democrats on Defense, Negative Ads Fill Airwaves

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With five weeks and counting to the mid-term elections, the Democratic big guns are playing defense in Blue states, and Democrats are on the attack.

Rep. Barney Frank, of Massachusetts, has been in Congress for 30 years and for the last two decades has won re-election with huge margins, sometimes running unopposed. But in this political environment, Frank is taking no chances and over the weekend brought in former president Bill Clinton to join him on the stump.

President Obama begins a campaign Monday to four states that he won two years ago -- New Mexico, Wisconsin, Iowa and Virginia -- where Democrats today are struggling. A recent Pew poll shows independent voters favoring the Republican candidate over the Democrat by thirteen points -- 49% favoring the generic Republican, 36% backing the Democrat.

Many Democrats are taking to the airwaves to depict their opponents as personally unacceptable. Rep. Alan Grayson, of Florida, for example, did not serve in the military but is using an anonymous narrator in a television advertisement to accuse his Republican opponent for not having served either.

"It breaks an old soldier's heart to think that Daniel Webster could ever be elected to Congress," says the narrator, whom the Grayson campaign had declined to identify. "He doesn't love this country the way I do." has said the ad falsely impugns Webster's patriotism.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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